This capstone argues for a more systematic framework to guide decision-making concerning military interventions to stop civil wars. The analysis incorporates quantitative and qualitative data, and a sample of three countries in sub-Saharan Africa – Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Somalia – to draw out a few examples of the relevant factors that should always be assessed when considering a military intervention to stop a civil war. These factors – characteristics of the country and conflict in question, as well as the potential interveners – would form part of a larger framework, which should be developed for use in policy making. Compared with ad hoc decision-making, use of a systematic framework to guide policy decisions would lead to better outcomes for both conflict-affected populations, as well as for the budgets of members of the international community.
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